On Monday, I presented to a group of 200 high school students on the topic of talent and developing a Profile of Self. The conversation was good, they were engaged, and they got the concept, but something interesting happened in the middle of the presentation.
I had just helped them figure out how to identify talent and set them free to talk with their buddy and discover their own talents. They were doing it and the energy was high. I was excited to hear what they came up with and so I brought the group back together and asked for a few volunteers.
“Raise your hand if you discovered a talent,” I said.
About 150 hands went up. (Not sure what happened with the other 50.)
“Awesome! Raise your hand if you’re willing to share your talent with the group.”
Every hand went down. I waited, then prompted again, “who would be willing to share?”
I told them that I wanted them to watch this experiment, and again asked them to raise their hands if they found a talent. All hands went up. Then I asked who would share. All hands went down.
I asked a simple question: “Why? Why won't you share your talents -- the very things that make you unique?”
In response, I heard a few soft answers:
“What if I’m not that good?”
“People will laugh.”
Bingo. This experiment never fails. What is this phenomenon, where people discover their talents but won’t share them with the world? The cruel paradox of talent is that because we’re so naturally gifted at that thing we don’t believe we’re all that good at it. We’ve likely not had to work hard to develop it — because it’s innate — and so we fear raising our hand and owning it.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world wonders “where can I find someone who does ______” or “I wish I knew someone that was gifted at _____.”
When we refuse to raise our hand and share what we do best, we sacrifice the gift.
Don’t sacrifice the gift.
Want to catalyze some serious momentum in your life and career?
RAISE YOUR HAND.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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